We're talking about group blogging this week, and so far we've discussed the assignment of roles and responsibilities, and sticking to the central theme and focus of the blog (harder than it sounds). Now, let's talk about the role of the person (or team) that is responsible for assuring that the group blog delivers in a consistent manner - the editor.
"There are just two people entitled to refer to themselves as 'we'; one is the editor and the other is the fellow with a tapeworm. -Bill Nye
While the above quote is intended to poke fun at the egos of some media editors, there's some truth to it, in that the decisions of the editor(s) of any publication, including a group blog) ultimately reflect on the whole publication, the writers, and the staff. Consistency is the key. Whatever style manual an editor prefers to follow on grammar and punctuation should be followed throughout the blog. The editor needs to be able to make corrections of obvious errors without first consulting the blogger (due to time constraints). Photo selection and placement should be consistent, as should the fonts used for text and headings.
An editor who wishes to remain in the good graces of the bloggers will not, however, change the content of posts without first consulting the bloggers. If there is a factual error that really must be corrected, it's usually better to hold off on posting, or temporarily take the post down until the blogger can correct it than to change what was actually written by the blogger. Remember, respect is earned, and respect is mutual.
The editor(s) usually also handle (or assign someone to handle, with specific guidelines) approving comments. We have some good information about managing reader comments, here.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is a trainer and tech writer in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. Her weakness is the mocha frappuccino.